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Book TV

Christine King Farris Education. (2013) 'My Brother Martin A Sister Remembers.'

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00:30:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 91 (627 MHz)

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mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 14, Mr. Mann 3, Martin Luther 3, Washington 3, Dr. King 2, America 2, M.l. 2, Martin Luther King 2, Atlanta 2, Alfred Daniel 1, Martin Hraoutor King Jr. 1, Martin 1, Arbor 1, Christy 1, Lincoln Memorial 1, D.c. 1, Luther King Jr. 1, The City 1, Mitsubishi 1, Dr. Martin Luther 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Christine King Farris  Education.   
   (2013) 'My Brother Martin A Sister Remembers.'  

    January 22, 2013
    12:00 - 12:30am EST  

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christine king ferris reads from her book "my brother martin." it's about a half hour. [applause] hi. >> do we need in my? >> i don't think so. we'll try.ar, y >> if you can't hear hear you guys wave at me and we will pass to the microphone. >> good afternoon. good afternoon good to see you. have you been enjoying yourselves this morning? >> yes. >> great. ok. how many of you know something about martin hraoutor king jr.? -- luther king jr.? all right. ok. do you realize he was a little
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boy one time just like you? ok. you knew him i'm sure as an adult. so this morning or early afternoon, i'm going to read to you from the book that i wrote about him. he was my brother and we had one other brother so there was three of us. now sometimes children you don't think of dr. martin luther king jr. as a child but he was really a child and grew up just like you, and so that's why i wanted to write this book. the book is entitled" my brother martin." it has lots of illustrations in it. i hope that you will have a chance to get to see the book
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more closely. ok. so this is part of it. a sister remembers. the sister, of course, is me. ok. the book starts out -- i will quote some words that martin said on the march on washington. i have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with the little white boys and
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white girls as sisters and brothers. i have a dream today. that's what he said in washington, d.c. at the lincoln memorial. ok. the book starts out and it has a picture of me. now when i wrote this book, i envisioned that i would be reading to children just like you, and the reason i thought of that is because my grandmother and my aunt lived in the home with us and many times they would baby-sit for my mother and father and they would sit and read to us and engage us in conversation. so i thought that this book
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would be like a grand conversation. i'm going to read some things to you. and so often children and even adults don't think about dr. king as a normal boy who did the same things that you do. you like to play, right? and so did he. all right. now i'm going to read some of the things to you. i start out by saying, gather around and listen, just like you are gathered around me, as i share childhood memories of my brother, the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. i am his older sister and i have known him longer than anyone else around. i knew him long before the speeches he gave and the marches he led and the prizes he won.
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i even knew him before he dreamed the dream that would change the world. and now this picture is when he was firstborn. you see this is supposed to be me, his sister, looking in the crib at him and then my mother, father, my aunt and my grandmother -- or grandfather. we were born in the same room. my brother martin and i. i was an early baby born sooner than expected. mother dear and daddy placed me in a shipper roll.
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now it's like a chest that may be in your bedroom. all right. has anybody ever been to see the home where dr. king has born? ok. some day ask your parents to take you over into the king national historic park so that you can see actually the home where we were born and it's just like it was when we were there. ok. so back to mother dear and daddy placed me in the shipper roll drawer that stood in the corner of her upstairs bedroom. i got a crib a few days afterwards so i didn't have to say in the drawer. a year and a half later martin sent his -- spent his first night in that hand-me-down crib in the very same room.
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the house where we were born belonged to mother dear's parents. we called our mother, mother dear. our grandparents were reverend and mrs. a.d. williams. we lived here with them and aunt ida, my grandmother's sister. and not long before my brother martin who we called m.l., because his dad had the same name, our baby brother was born. his name was alfred daniel. but we called him a.d. after our grandfather. they called me christy. and like three peas in one pod, we grew together. our days and rooms were filled with adventure stories and
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tinker toys, dolls and monopoly and chinese checkers. you can see the toys all around on the floor. ok. and although daddy who was an important minister and mother dear who was known far and wide as a musician often had work that took them away from home, our grandmother was always there to take care of us. i remember days sitting at her feet as she and aunt ida filled us with grand memories of their childhood and read to us about the wonderful places in the world. now, and, of course, my brothers
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and i had each other. we three stuck together like the pages in a brand new book. and being normal young children, we were always up to something. our best thing involved a fur piece that belonged to our grandmother. it looked almost alive with its tiny feet and little head with gleaming glass eyes. so every once in a while in the waning light of evening, we'd tie that fur piece to a stick and hide in behind the head. in front of our house, we would dangle it in front of unsuspecting passer-bys.
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you could hear the screams of fright all across the neighborhood. there's an illustration here. see with the fur piece. here we are hiding behind the hedges and the neighbors passing by. they were frightened. you know, sometimes we were punished because one man he didn't like it so he went and found my father and told him and of course, we were in trouble. ok. then there was the time that mother dear decided that her children should all learn to play the piano. i didn't mind it too much, but m and a.d., like most boys, preferred being outside, to being stuck inside with our piano teacher, mr. mann, who
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would rap your knuckles with a ruler just for playing the wrong notes. well, one morning m.l. and a.d. decided to loosen the leg on the piano bench so we wouldn't have to practice. we didn't tell mr. mann. and when he sat, crash, down he went. see? he fell. and, of course, we were in trouble again. so you see us trying to say we were sorry, we didn't mean to hurt mr. mann. ok. but mostly we were good, obedient children. and m.l. did learn to play a few
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songs on the piano. he went off to sing with my mother a time or two. knowing his love for singing and music, i'm sure he would have become as good a musician my mother had if life had not led him down a different path. but that's just what his life did. my brothers and i grew up a long time ago, back in a time when certain places in our country had unfair laws that said it was right to keep black people separate because our skin was darker and our ancestors had been captured in far off africa and brought to america as slaves. ok. then we came to -- we come now to atlanta, georgia. the city in which we were
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growing up had those laws. because of those laws, my family rarely went to picture shows. in fact, to this very day, i don't recall ever seeing my father on a street car because of those laws and the indignity that went with them, daddy preferred keeping m.l., a.d., and me close to home where we would be protected. but we lived in a neighborhood in atlanta now called sweet arbor. and this is the street. you can see the cars. you haven't seen cars like that, have you? they don't have any like that now. ok. something like we used to call a
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t model ford and so tpot. ok. we lived there on the avenue. and on our side of the street, there were two-story frame houses, similar to the one we lived in. across the street crouched a line of one-story houses and a store which was owned by a white family. when we were young, all of the children along the avenue played together, even the two boys whose parents owned the store. so you can see us playing together in our backyard. ok. and ran with m.l. and a.d. to the firehouse on the corner. and this is the fire wagon that
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was there and it is there. that fire wagon has been destroyed and it is there at that fire station. ok. the thought of not playing with those kids because they were different, because they were white and we were black never entered our mind. well, one day m.l. and a.d. went to get their playmates from across the street just as they had done a hundred times before. but they came home alone. the boys had told my brothers that they couldn't play with them any more because m.l. and a.d. were negroes. shortly afterward the family sold the store and moved away. we never saw or heard from them again. well, looking back, i realize
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that it was only a matter of time before the generations of cruelty and injustice that daddy and mother dear and mama and aunt ida had received finally broke through. back then it was a crushing blow that seemed to come out of nowhere. why do white people treat colored people so mean m.l. asked my mother afterwards? and she sat and talked to us. she said her words explained the street cars our family avoided and the whites only sign that kept us off of the elevator at
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city hall. her words told why there were parts of museums that black people could not visit and why some restaurants refused to serve us and why hotels wouldn't give us rooms and why theaters would only allow us to watch the picture shows from the balcony. but her words gave us hope. she asked us simply -- answered us simply, because they just don't understand that everyone is the same. but some day it will be better. and my brother, m.l., looked up into our mother's face and said the words that i remember to this day. looking up at mother dear and he said, mother dear, one day i'm going to turn this world
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upsidedown. do i need to go on? i think that's enough. [applause] there's one thing i want you to participate in. at the end of the book, there is a poem that a teacher said to me on the observance of the first holiday in memory of my brother and it is entitled, "you can be like martin." i will read some of this poem and i want you to answer me. it says, you can be like martin, yes, you can. can you say that? >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> you can say it better than that. come on. >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> ok. i'm going to read some of these verses and when i hold up my
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hand, that's what i want you to say. all right. martin was a peaceful boy and peaceful what a man. he wanted good things for everyone all throughout our land you can be a peaceful child, even a peaceful man. >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> ok. martin was an intelligent boy, intelligent when a man. he wanted good schools for everyone all throughout our land. >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> all right. two more verses i'll read. martin was a proud boy and proud when he came a man. he tried to teach pride to black
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people all throughout our land and he would say, you can be a proud child and proud when you are a man. i say woman. >> you can be like martin, yes, you k.>> all right. this is the last one. >> martin was a reading boy, kept reading when a man. he knew good readers were needed all throughout our land. you can be a reader. read on when you are a man or a woman. >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> say it loud and strong. >> you can be like martin, yes, you can. >> ok. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> who has questions? who has questions for mrs. farris? nobody has a question? there's not anything you want to know about having a brother like martin luther king jr.? parents, do you all have any questions because there are a lot of people here who came without children just to see mrs. christine king farris. are there any questions out there? we do have one? ok. >> she's shy so i will ask for her. she wanted to know how do you think reverend martin luther king would feel because there is so many streets and a national holiday named after him? >> ok. i'm sure he would be pleased, but he would be very humble
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because he did not want a lot of attention placed on him for things that he did. he did them out of i think the goodness of his heart. he never did look for people to praise him. i remember when we went to oslo, norway when he received the nobel peace prize, how humble he was. he wasn't real chesty. he was very humble. i think that's the way he would feel if he were with us today. never looking for praise for himself. >> anybody have another question? one right here. >> was martin luther king like to see children? >> oh, yes, he loved children. he had four children. he loved them.
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we have even pictures of him playing with them. yes, he loved children a lot. >> what kind of toys did martin luther king play with? >> all right. there are some toys here in the book that he loved to play with. and see the toys -- when we came along, i don't think they have many of those toys now. but we had tinker toys, chinese checkers, monopoly, things like that. mm-hmm. >> what was it like having martin luther king for a
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brother? >> ok. do you have a brother or sister? you have a brother. what's it like having a brother? >> good. >> well, it was good. it was good, too. and we were so close together that we did many things together and one of the reasons i wrote this book is because people and children -- because they have been told about martin -- look at him as if he is something very, very different, like he came from outer space. i want children to know that he was just a boy just like them. it was just like with your brother. ok.
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>> two more questions. we'll take your question and then we'll take your question, ok? >> did martin luther king make you feel better? >> i think you are thinking he made people feel better and he certainly did because he loved people so very much and he love -- just as the question was asked, he did really love children. you can see that, each time when he was leading marches and so forth, he was involved with young people, with children. he loved children. >> one more question. >> is your other brother still around?
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>> yes, he is still around. not physically. you don't see him in the flesh, but because of the work he did and the sacrifices he made, he is still around. he will be around. people will remember him and continue hopefully the work that he tried to start. >> that was a great last question. he is still around. ladies and gentlemen, if you put your hands together for mrs. christine king farris. >> here with craig smith
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"counting the days" pows, internees, and stragglers of world war ii in the pacific. mr. smith you looked at different p.o.w.s in the theater. tell us about that. >> three of of them were prisoners of the japanese and three were prison ace -- prisoners of america. i thought it would be good to talk about both sides of the conflict. >> how long were these gentlemen held and where were they help? >> the americans were held for the duration of the war so that was a little less than four years. one gentleman was a young marine captured on the second day of the war and spent the war in four japanese prison camps in the last one working for a couple of years as a slave labor in the mitsubishi steel mill. that was a very difficult time and he was lucky to come out of that alive. the interesting one on the japanese side i i met and i knew a japanese straggler.
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this was a japanese soldier who elected to stay in the jungle after the war was over. the island of guam and he stayed there with another guy until 1960. he came out 15 years after the end of the war and went back to japan as a hero and had a movie made about him and all that. by a quirk of faith i happened to find his long-lost diary actually here in washington. i went to return it to him some years later and he came back to guam and i met him and gave him back his long-lost diary out it was a very emotional thing as you can imagine. >> you looked at prisoners from the allied side in the japanese. how were they treated differently and where they treated differently? >> yes they were treated very differently. the americans of course were treated very brutally, not much
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food comp and not much medicine, hard labor and a lot of physical beatings. and the japanese military training which thought it was disloyal to surrender. so these american p.o.w.s were considered not honorable men and they were treated that way. on the other hand of course the u.s. treated the japanese prisoners in accord with the geneva convention hoping that would lead to better treatment of americans. the biggest difficulty with japanese prisoners was that early on they wanted to commit suicide. for the very reasons that i mentioned earlier. they thought being captured was dishonorable and begged the americans to let them commit suicide. finally the treatment they receive for the